Persian Lessons

Russia/Germany/Belarus, 127m, DCP

Showtimes & Tickets

Screened June 9–July 13, 2023

Part of the program

From the director of the Academy Award-nominated House of Sand and Fog, Persian Lessons follows Gilles (Nahuel Pérez Biscayart), a Belgian Jew who avoids sudden execution by swearing to concentration camp guards that he’s Persian not Jewish. While the lie saves him temporarily, Gilles is then assigned the task of teaching Farsi, a language he doesn’t know, to Koch (Lars Eidinger), the officer in charge of the camp’s kitchen who dreams of opening a restaurant in Iran once the war is over. Through an ingenious trick, Gilles manages to survive by inventing words of “Farsi” every day and teaching them to Koch. The particular relationship between the two men sparks the jealousy of other prisoners and SS guards towards Gilles. While the suspicions of Koch grow every day, Gilles understands that he will not be able to keep his secret very long. A Cohen Media Group release

In German, Farsi, French, Italian, and English; with English subtitles

Official Selection: Berlin International Film Festival

A film by Vadim Perelman

Undeniably powerful.”


Emotionally gut-wrenching.”

The Hollywood Reporter

Superbly acted… It floored me in the devastating final moments.”

The Guardian